4.2 Ramifications of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John Being Old Testament
To those who think that this is a trivial subject, our tendency is to agree. However, more trivial subjects than this have cost men their souls. Most who hold the position of MML&J being OT do not take the implications of this false doctrine to its logical conclusion. However, others do. One of the authors asked point-blank if the one holding the erroneous position thought that the author was fallen from grace. The response was that we were “falling from grace” for teaching and believing that MML&J are NT books. Now, this only represents the radical fringe, but that is what is on the horizon.
We must hastily add that the person who made this statement has reached the only logical conclusion of his beliefs. If you believe that MML&J are Old Testament books, then you have to conclude that those who are teaching and binding doctrine from these books are teaching the Old Testament. Listen to what Paul has to say about people who do such things (Galatians 5:4):
"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (KJV)
Read the context and see what it was specifically that Paul was concerned with. Certain Christians were trying to bind just one thing from the law: circumcision. (Of course, this was a ploy, and they were actually trying to bind the entire Old Testament law, but they were making circumcision their “test doctrine” so to speak.) Paul stated that if they were to bind just this one doctrine, they might as well go ahead and bind the whole law – consistency demanded it!
If MML&J are strictly OT books, and we take one doctrine out of them and bind it today, would we not be in the identical situation as the false teachers were in Galatians 5? Our erring brother thought so when he said that we were “falling from grace,” and we think so as well. This is one point on which we agree. The doctrine that MML&J are OT books has some terrible ramifications.
Consider, for a moment, all of the Christians of times past who have quoted Matthew, Mark, Luke or John in preaching a sermon. Now the fact that something might be reiterated in Acts 2 through Revelation 22 is irrelevant. We do not teach “Thou shalt not covet” today because it is in the OT law; we teach it because it is New Testament doctrine. If we taught it by the authority of Moses, we would have to bind all that Moses bound. And so it is with those who would draw on the authority of MML&J. If these be OT books then we can bind nothing from them. When one comes to the Lord’s Supper and reads from Luke 22:19:
"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me."
As authority for our taking of the Lord’s Supper, this person would be guilty of being fallen from grace as taught in Galatians 5. If this is not true, then Luke is a New Testament book. Remember, it only takes a small part of a book to be binding on us today for that book to not have been nailed to the cross with Christ. We are not stating that everything that Jesus taught that were details of the law applies to us today. But we know that Luke 22:19 surely does.
The ramifications of MML&J being OT and nailed to the cross is that all Christians who have used them authoritatively as the teaching of Jesus for us today are, as Paul stated: “fallen from grace.” We know that this is not evidenced one way or the other, but before one embarks on a battle it is wise to count the cost. Can all of these people be wrong? Sure, they could be. It has happened before. But perhaps if it is phrased a little differently it will hit home better: “Am I so much smarter or more spiritually enlightened than all of the Christians who have held the opposite position?” That, my friends, is a much more sobering question.